Twins break losing streak with 2-1 victory over Yankees
MINNEAPOLIS -- Backed by a quality start from Yohan Pino and five scoreless innings of relief, the Minnesota Twins snapped a seven-game home losing streak to the New York Yankees with a 2-1 victory in 11 innings on Saturday.
Left fielder Josh Willingham scored the winning run on an errant throw by Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli.
Chris Colabello, pinch hitting for first baseman Chris Parmelee, led off the bottom of the 11th inning with a towering double to left field that came just inches from going over the wall and ending the game. Colabello advanced to third on a grounder by designated hitter Kendrys Morales. With one out, the Yankees intentionally walked Willingham and right fielder Oswaldo Arcia was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Cervelli tried to complete an inning-ending double play by throwing out third basemanTrevor Plouffe at first base, but his throw went into left field.
Heading into the game, the Twins were 0-7 in their last seven meetings with New York at Target Field, dating to Sept. 25, 2012. The Yankees are 13-3 all time at Target Field.
Pino gave the Twins their first quality start of the series, going six innings and allowing one run and three hits and striking out three. It was Pino's first-ever start against the Yankees. The 30-year-old Venezuelan rookie entered the game 0-2 with a 6.32 ERA in three appearances for the Twins.
Twins relievers Matt Guerrier, Casey Fien, Glen Perkins, Jared Burton and Brian Duensing combined for five shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out four.
The Twins' bullpen had posted a 1.78 ERA, allowing just 11 earned runs in their past 18 games and entered the game on a streak of 9.2 scoreless innings.
In the top of the fifth inning, Cervelli drove in the first run of the game, hitting a two-out single to left field to bring home right fielder Ichiro Suzuki and give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
Suzuki reached base on a fielder's choice, stole second base and took third on a wild pitch.
Willingham tied the score at 1, hitting a solo home run 398 feet to the second deck in left field to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning.
Willingham's blast came on a 1-1 pitch from Yankees starting pitcher David Phelps.
Willingham, who was 1-for-4 in the game with three strikeouts, was back in the lineup on Saturday after being given the day off in Friday's loss to the Yankees. Willingham, plugged into the fifth spot in the order, was 0-for-12 with three strikeouts in his previous four games.
Starting pitcher David Phelps threw seven innings for the Yankees, allowing one earned run, three hits and two walks while striking out three.
Yankees relief pitcher Shawn Kelley threw two innings of scoreless ball, allowing two hits and striking out four. Thornton, who took the loss, went 1 2/3 innings, allowing one run and two hits, striking out one.
Entering the game, Yankees relievers had a 1.66 ERA in 11 games since June 23. Coming in, the New York bullpen led the majors with 312 strikeouts.
NOTES: Yankees SS Derek Jeter returned to the lineup on Saturday after receiving a day off in Friday's 6-5 Fourth of July victory over Minnesota. The Twins presented Jeter with the last second base ever used at the Metrodome as a retirement gift in a ceremony before Saturday's first pitch. ... Twins 2B Brian Dozier played his 42nd day game of the season Saturday, the most in baseball. ... Home plate umpire Marty Foster ejected Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in the third inning. It was Gardenhire's third ejection of the season and 70th in his career. ... Twins 1B Chris Parmelee went 0-for-4 in the game and 0-2 with runners in scoring position. He is now 0-for-27 with runners in scoring position on the year. ... Yankees C Brian McCann was a late scratch in Saturday's game against the Twins with a sore left foot. X-rays were negative. He is listed as day to day. ... The Yankees gave LF Brett Gardner the day off Saturday. Gardner, who leads New York in batting and runs scored, was 2-for-8 with two runs in the first two games of the series. Gardner entered the game in the bottom of the ninth as a defensive replacement in left field. ... Twins C Kurt Suzuki extended his hit streak to five games with a single in the first inning. He leads the Twins with a .309 batting average.